Eight new FDI projects approved for licensing in FY 2022-2023

Six projects in services sector and two in production & manufacturing sector get the green light

In what could be a significant boost to the nation’s economic growth, the Department of Industry (DoI) has approved a total of eight new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects for licensing during the fiscal year 2022-2023. Among the approved projects, six are in the services sector, while the remaining two are in the production and manufacturing sector.

The Department of Industry, in addition to project licensing, facilitated various activities to support Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects during the same fiscal year.

According to the annual report of Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment, (MoICE) the department approved a change of location for one industry, the transfer of shares for eight projects, the expansion of capacity for two projects, and the addition of activities for one project.

Foreign investors seeking to expand their ventures in the country were also granted investor cards, similar to work permits, allowing multiple entries and exits. These cards are issued for a one-year period and are renewable on an annual basis. To obtain an investor card, FDI companies must apply for a recommendation letter, providing a copy of their passports to the DoI. Additionally, the specific investor is required to be physically present at the Department of Immigration during the application process. The department verified and recommended twenty-one investor cards for eighteen FDI companies during the fiscal year 2022-2023.

To ensure adherence to FDI policies and regulations established in 2019, the DoI carried out rigorous monitoring of industries. The primary focus of this monitoring was to evaluate the employment records, including the number of people employed and the ratio of foreign workers to national employees, set at one foreign worker for every five nationals employed. Furthermore, the department ensured that the scope of activities carried out by companies remained in line with the initial project approvals.

During the fiscal year 2022-2023, the Department visited six approved service industries in the vicinity of Thimphu Dzongkhag. Out of these, five projects were from the IT/ITES sector, and one from the education sector. These monitoring efforts aimed to foster transparency and encourage a thriving investment environment within the region.

The report also state that the DoI’s proactive approach to project approval, facilitation, and monitoring highlights Bhutan’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for both local and foreign investments. As the nation continues its journey towards economic progress, such measures are expected to play a pivotal role in attracting further investments and promoting sustainable growth across various sectors.

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu